OpenSSL GPL conflict (was: Re: License GPL-2 conflicts with OpenSSLException)

Fred Wright fw at
Sat Apr 17 02:25:25 UTC 2021

On Fri, 16 Apr 2021, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
> On Apr 16, 2021, at 20:33, Fred Wright wrote:
>> For that matter, IMO this whole business of the OpenSSL license 
>> conflicting with the GPL is a bunch of nonsense (at least in the 
>> typical MacPorts scenario).  Since when does *dynamically* linking 
>> against an *unbundled* shared library constitute "redistribution" of 
>> said library? And if anyone tries to claim that merely including the 
>> bits necessary to link against the library is "redistribution", the 
>> recent SCOTUS ruling in Oracle v. Google should put that to rest.
> Since you're now asking a different question than what I was asking, 
> let's retitle the thread.
> I'm not aware of the Oracle / Google ruling.

They ruled in favor of Google, meaning that copying Oracle's Java header 
files to use in conjunction with Google's Java implementation did not 
constitute a violation of Oracle's copyright.  Essentially they said that 
APIs aren't copyrightable.

> The reason why the OpenSSL license and GPL conflict, unless an exception 
> is granted, when the OpenSSL is not part of the operating system, is 
> explained here:

Yes, I'm aware of that alleged explanation.  But the key point is that it 
relates to the *redistribution* of OpenSSL, and I contend that merely 
dynamically linking against a non-bundled OpenSSL library does not 
constitute "redistribution" of said library, and hence the alleged 
conflict is inapplicable.

Fred Wright

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